French expat media slaps paywalls on crucial Brexit articles

French expat media slaps paywalls on crucial Brexit articles

French expat media slaps paywalls on crucial Brexit articles

Where do retired British expats on UK state pensions go for objective, well-researched Brexit articles if they can’t shell out for the new paywalls set up by online expat media outlets.

In this ‘age of the internet’, it’s comparatively easy to getup-to-the-minute world news from a variety of politically diverse online media outlets, but expats in non-English speaking countries may have to rely on local providers for important news, much of which nowadays may have an uncomfortable effect on their lives. For UK expatriates in Europe, Brexit is the perfect example of need-to-know news, especially if decision making is necessary. In the past, coverage of important developments in negotiations and parliamentary sessions have been easily accessible and represented adequately by expat media chains in popular expat hubs across Europe. Keeping up to date with movements in either direction is crucial for expats caught in the middle.

At the same time, UK expats surviving on the less-than generous state pension ae having to deal with the effect on their monthly cash of sterling’s dramatic fall after the referendum result was announced. It’s a lose-lose situation, with prices going up and sterling likely to fall further in the future. Economising can become an art form with just a few euros a month making the difference between staying put or returning to a UK weakened by its political situation.

The above is one reason why constant updates by local expat newspapers are essential to expats and especially retirees, but the information they need to know is now locked behind a paywall at both of France’s online expat papers, The Connexion and The Local. Both used to cover Brexit news accurately for free, but the paywalls covering advisory articles are now set at around five euros a month.

The Local is a multi-country media outlet covering Germany, Italy, Spain and several non-EU states as well as France, all of which are now under paywalls for informative articles about Brexit as well as other important local issues. Of interest are the reasons for joining up, stated on the German site and including ‘if you’re paying, we’re working for you’. Presumably, if you’re not paying, they’re not working for you. For those relying on accurate information whilst struggling financially, it could be read as a denigration of responsibility to its impecunious but loyal readers, a suggestion borne out by another inducement to join which reads, ‘You’ll get to hang out with fabulous people’ – referring to upscale get-togethers across Europe. Roughly translated from advertorial-speak to real life, it’s ‘if you’re not rich, we don’t want to know’.

For those needing to keep up with developments which may possibly wreck their lives, what’s left to read in the online media about Brexit developments may not be accurate or may even be fake news, exactly what isn’t needed for decision-making right now. The only recommendation is to bookmark the web pages of the various anti-Brexit campaign groups and read their take on developments. At least it’ll be correct, and it’s free.

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